Accountability

How state and school- based accountability impact classrooms

My Views

As a student growing up in the age of No Child Left Behind, I was able to see the impact, first- hand, while I was in the classroom. I saw that the mandated tests became a burden on my teachers, as they taught us only the things that they knew were going to be tested. We stopped gaining knowledge, and instead we learned how to take a test, and most importantly get the right answer. School turned from a place that I loved to attend into something that I absolutely loathed. I feel that No Child Left Behind had a lot to do not only with the change in school, but the change in the way that I viewed school.

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Standardized Testing

It is believed that in order to assure that a teacher is doing their job correctly is to hold them accountable, and the way that is done is highly debated. In Texas this is done mostly through standardized testing. According to The Qualitive Report, Ballard and Bates claim that “ High- stakes tests limit the scope of the classroom instruction and student learning in undesirable ways”. Basically saying that with these test teachers begin to teach only the content that will be on the tests, and test- taking skills. Which is what happened to me while I was in school. My teachers only cared about what we were going to learn for the test, and if a student had a question that was a little off- topic it was bushed aside, because they did not have the time to answer the question. Fortunately, there are some positives that surround the use of standardized testing such as the capability of students to be able to take standardized tests to gain access into colleges. After taking standardized tests for so long many students are not as anxious when they go into the SAT, or ACT.

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Accountability

I feel that there are many ways to keep teachers accountable, but standardized testing is not one of them. In other states they not only use standardized testing as a way to rate their teacher, but evaluations that are done by other faculty. With various types of strategies that are in use for holding teachers accountable I feel that the rankings are more fair if it were done only on how well their students did on one test. Hopefully, as we have gained more knowledge on how badly these accountability measures were created we will be able to change them in the future. Unfortunately now that I am no longer in the classroom. Looking back, I feel that the quality of my education dropped, as my teachers were forced to teach us by a mandated timeline, or their jobs and salaries were in jeopardy.